Darling International Acquires Griffin Industries

November 9, 2010 | Darling International, Inc., a leading provider of rendering, recycling, and recovery solutions to the U.S. food industry, today announced that its board of directors has unanimously approved a merger agreement to acquire Griffin Industries, Inc., a leading provider of value-added rendering, bakery feed, and cooking oil recycling services in the southeast United States based in Cold Spring, KY, for a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $840 million.

Griffin Industries has 55 locations throughout the southeast United States that include 12 rendering plants, nine bakery by-product plants, and one biodiesel facility. Griffin employs nearly 1,400 people in 18 states. An innovative industry leader, Griffin produces products for the pet food, animal feed, industrial/chemical, petroleum, leather, and fertilizer industries.

Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and chief executive officer of Darling International, said, “We are truly honored to have the opportunity to combine our two companies. Griffin Industries has built one of the most successful rendering and bakery by-products companies in the United States. Griffin’s long standing tradition of excellent customer service and highly efficient operations will truly enhance our company for today and the future. The combination of our two companies fills out our national footprint and gives us the ability to better serve our customers from coast to coast.”

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Darling will pay Griffin’s shareholders an aggregate purchase price of $840 million, of which $740 million is payable in cash and approximately $100 million is payable in Darling common stock. Darling expects to finance the transaction through a combination of borrowings under a senior secured credit facility to be entered into in connection with the closing of the transaction, the proceeds from senior unsecured notes to be sold on or prior to the closing date of the transaction and cash on hand.

Darling anticipates that the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, will close by mid-December.

Darling International is the largest publicly traded, food processing by-products recycling company in the United States. The company recycles used restaurant cooking oil and by-products from the beef, pork, and poultry processing industries into useable products such as tallow, feed-grade fats, meat and bone meal, and hides. These products are primarily sold to agricultural, leather, oleochemical, and biodiesel manufacturers around the world. In addition, the company provides grease trap collection services and sells equipment to restaurants.

Founded in 1943 by John and Rosellen Griffin, Griffin Industries is one of the largest independent, privately owned animal and bakery by-product recycling companies in North America. Headquartered in Cold Spring, KY, the company continues to grow and expand, developing new products and services and extending its reach in the domestic and global marketplace.